This season, young workers (especially those who will be working their first job) must be aware of workplace dangers and the federal regulations in place that are designed to protect them from those dangers. One law that specifically addresses the rights of minor workers is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA Protects Teen Workers
The FLSA prohibits minors from being hired for non-agricultural work that falls under the Department of Labor’s (DOL) list of hazardous occupations. The DOL’s list of hazardous occupations include manufacturing or storing explosives, driving a vehicle, coal mining, firefighting and other jobs involving dangerous tools, equipment and processes.
This federal law also protects young workers in terms of wages. Workers under age 18 are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay just like workers over the age of 18 years old. Workers aged 14 and 15 can work eight hours a day, 40 hours a week when school is not in session. When school is in session, they can only work a maximum of three hours per school day and eight hours per non-school day for a total of no more than 18 hours a week.
How to Stay Safe on The Job
Workers in South Carolina are entitled to safe workplaces. However, sometimes despite an employer’s best efforts, workers can still be injured on the job. Workplace accidents can occur in any industry. Although the construction, manufacturing and health care industries are notoriously hazardous, office jobs can be dangerous as well.
Many of the most common work injuries can be avoided by taking appropriate safety precautions. For example, overexertion is the number one cause of workplace injuries. To avoid suffering from overexertion, be sure to lift heavy objects the proper way (using your leg muscles and holding the item close to your body) and take frequent breaks. Falls and struck-by accidents are also very common injuries that can be avoided by keeping walking areas clutter-free and wearing the proper personal protection equipment (PPE).
What to Do if You Are Injured
South Carolina workers are protecting by state Workers’ Compensation laws, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you were injured at work, report your injuries to your employer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim is generally two years; however after just 90 days you may lose your right to some forms of compensation. It is important to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can help you meet all applicable deadlines and navigate the system.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Teens Hurt on the Job
If you or your child was injured on the job, contact the Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. We have been fighting for the rights of injured South Carolina workers for decades and can help you recover the Workers’ Compensation benefits to which you are entitled, including medical expenses and lost wages. We proudly represent clients in Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County, Kershaw County and throughout South Carolina. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 or toll-free at 866-881-8623.